My blog has been changed to make it more appealing for those who have New England ancestors and want to see the area through photos. Things I’ll include are typical white New England churches, libraries showing their genealogical collection, historical societies, cemeteries, war memorials, in general, anything to do with history.

For four years I’ve blogged mostly about my personal genealogy in New England (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire), New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. I still will, can’t forget my own roots.

Please check out the labels on the right side for articles. The header tabs at the top are a work in progress.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Skating to Some Memories

My mother only cried once in front of me. It was like yesterday. She had just heard a radio report, similar to the statement from the site of the U. S. Figure Skating organization, "On February 15, 1961, Sabena Flight 548, traveling from New York to Brussels, crashed in Berg-Kampenhout, Belgium, claiming the lives of all 72 passengers on board. Included were the entire 18 members of the 1961 U.S. World Figure Skating Team plus 16 of their friends, family, and coaches en route to the 1961 World Figure Skating Championships in Prague, Czechoslovakia."

We loved to watch figure skating on TV, and even ice skated together. After I moved from California to Massachusetts, the cold weather set in and it froze the pond behind my Lexington, MA elementary school. At that time, we would skate after school and on weekends. This was the era of the great Tenley Albright* who lived in the Boston area, and I think that might have fueled her interest in skating and through osmosis, the love of figure skating passed down to me. My goal for many years was to be a figure skater, ha. But, how I loved it. And years, many years later, even out of high school, my then-boyfriend, now husband and I would go skating every Sunday evening at an indoor rink. And when we were done with practice, we watched a young skating couple practice after us, we always could we not. They went on to win the Olympic Silver in 1984 in the Pairs competition.  Thanks Peter and Kitty Carruthers.  (Photos I took of them are below.)

Information about the 1961 skating team members who died is located at Find-A-Grave and Wikipedia.  If you watch the Winter Olympics this week and happen to catch the figure skaters, please think of those who died in the crash.

I decided to include information found on the internet about Tenley Albright.  So many accomplishments. How could I not admire her?

"Tenley Albright began skating at eight in Massachusetts, after seeing Gretchen Merrill perform at an ice show. Soon after she committed to rigorous training, encouraged by her coach Maribel Vinson Owen, Albright contracted polio (poliomyelitis) in September 1946. She used her ice skating to regain strength after the attack, and in early 1947, she won her first major competition. By age 13, she had won her first national title, the U.S. Ladies Novice championship.
     Albright was not expected to win a berth on the 1952 Olympic figure skating team, but she did -- and then won the silver medal at Oslo, the highest rank for an American woman skater since 1924. A month after the Olympics she won her first of five consecutive U.S. national championships.
     In 1953, Tenley Albright not only won the "triple crown" (U.S., North American, and World titles) but also entered Radcliffe College as a premed student. In 1956, in the first Olympics televised around the world, she won the gold medal despite a serious injury to her ankle and competition from Carol Heiss. She was the first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in figure skating.
     Albright retired from competition in 1957. She graduated from Radcliffe that year, despite taking time off for her skating practice, and she entered Harvard Medical School, one of only 6 women out of 130 in her class. Albright became a surgeon, joining her father's practice in Boston. She retired from medicine in the 1990s."